Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I've been a wreck for about the past week.  My husband recently took a new job and will start in a couple of weeks.  This has been a long time coming.  He applied in February and just got the call with the job offer.  Now that it's OFFICIAL, I'm starting to freak out about what our life is going to look like with him no longer being home on a daily basis.  On top of that huge transition (that also takes place on the busiest week of the year where I work) and all the issues that arises because of that, we have a MILLION ZILLION things that need done.  We're getting fair pigs this week.  We need to sell our old van since we bought a new one.  We have unofficially purchased a work car for hubby so he won't have to spend a ton of dough on gas driving to and from work and need to do all the necessary paperwork to make that all legal.  (we will be working in the same town, but our hours are too different to ride together).  Allie would like to run track this year and it starts next month.  We need to put more wood chips on the garden.  I need to put fertilizer on the strawberries.  We need to put sand in the pig pen.  I need to get our coop ready for peeps that will be coming in 2 weeks.  I have bills to pay, paperwork to fill out, and appointments to make for the kiddos at the dentist and eye dr before their insurance runs out at the end of May.  We have almost a half of a beef that will be ready soon (also on the same week that hubby starts his job AND I will be working a ton) that needs to fit into our already-full freezer.  

I know these things seem so minor, but they are all weighing on me at once and I literally feel like I can't breathe sometimes.  I need to just have a good cry, but quite honestly, I don't have time.  This morning's run didn't even help to relieve the stress...and that's bad.  I just feel like I'm drowning in all the normal day-to-day maintenance stuff that needs done around here that I can't get to all the things listed above!  There just are not enough hours in the day it seems!  And things seem ultra-bleak this week because I have today and Sunday off and I work the rest of the week.  So alot of these things are going to get crammed into the evenings...and they are already filling up quickly!  

So what am I going to do?  I'm going to take it one day at a time.  Do what I can in that day.  Try really hard not to stress about the things that didn't get done because tomorrow is a new day.  On a good note, I did lose 1.2 lbs since last Monday.  And the sun is shining.  So I'm going to quit complaining.  I thought maybe it would do me good to get this all out because I've been holding it in for awhile.  I think I do feel better....

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chocolate Covered Baloney (The Confessions of April Grace) by KD McCrite

I decided to review this book because it is written for young girls and I thought my daughter and I could enjoy reading it together. Once we started reading it, I was somewhat surprised by the content of the book.  The book centers around the main character, April Grace Reilly, and her family as they experience some unexpected and crazy situations.

I was really disappointed in this book.  I know it is written for younger girls, however a lot of the book is comprised of sibling rivalry with April's sister, Myra Sue.  The book contains lots of name-calling and disrespectful speech that we do not allow in our house, so why would I want my daughter to read it?  Luckily my daughter quickly lost interest in the book.  One reason I wanted to read this book with my daughter was because it was a Christian book, however there is much of anything faith-wise in it.  I would not recommend this book for young girls.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for this honest review.

Lord, I Give You This Day by Kay Arthur

Lord, I Give You This Day by Kay Arthur is a great little devotional.  It features 366 one-page entries so you have one for each day of the year...even on a Leap Year!  Each entry is also dated, so if you happen to miss a day or two you can pick up and know exactly where to read next according to what day it is.  Even though the book is smaller than a normal book  which means the pages are smaller, each entry is deeply rooted in God's Word and gets you thinking!  I read devotions before where the entries are just cutesy little short stories with a scripture verse.  I think those are annoying.  When I do my morning devotions I want to dig deep and glean wisdom out of what I am reading.  I want that wisdom to be on my mind during the day...urging me to make better choices and to walk closer to God each day.  I think this devotional does just that.

I had the privilege of hearing Kay Arthur speak in person several years ago and she is amazing.  Her urgency to help other women and her authenticity about her own life is something I will never forget.  This devotional is like getting to hear her speak to me each and every day!

To go to Kay Arthur's website, CLICK HERE

"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."

Your Beautiful Purpose by Susie Larson

This book is a great book for women who are in need of encouragement.  Women who need to know that God has created them for a purpose.  The author does a wonderful job of taking you step by step on a journey to discovering God in our lives.  She urges us to find God at work in our lives, even when we feel like He's forgotten about us.  God has a plan for each of us, but we need to discover what that plan is.  And it looks different for each one of us.  That task alone can seem daunting, but Susie helps to get us looking for ways God is using us.

This book is divided into sections, each containing 2 chapters.  The first chapter instructs us and gives us wisdom for how God works.  The second chapter gives us a task to work on.  (Getting rid of fear, etc)  And ways to work on that task.  At the end of every chapter there are discussion questions which makes this book a great addition to any women's group.

I really liked Susie's writing style and how she is so open and authentic in this book.  She's been where where are and she shares her journey of finding God in her life.  She shares some struggles and some triumphs and lessons she has learned along the way. God is using her to help other women reach their potential and fulfill the plan God has laid out for them.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Recipe Adventures #19: Whole Wheat PB Chocolate Chip Cookies

The non-whole wheat version of this recipe has been a favorite of mine for years.  My sister in law makes the BEST cookies in the entire world and she gave me this recipe.  Of course mine don't taste like hers, but each time I make them, it reminds me of her.  She currently is living in Mozambique, Africa so we don't get to eat her cookies anymore.  (Insert sad face here...)  

I also feel a bit guilty sending cookies in for my daughter's snack since they aren't very nutritious, so I modified the recipe so it was whole-wheat and it made me feel a bit less guilty.  

Whole Wheat PB Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c. butter
3/4 c. evaporated cane juice
3/4 c. sucanat
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 c. Jif Natural PB
2 c. whole wheat flour (I used hard red wheat)
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix sugars, butter and eggs together.  Add pb & vanilla.  Sprinkle the soda and salt onto mixture, then add flour.  Pour in the choc chips. Bake at 375 degrees for about 9 mins on a baking stone.  Remove from oven and let set on stone for approx 5 mins to firm up.  

Enjoy! :)

It's Monday Already?

I don't know about you, but our weekends seems to FLY by!  I worked both Friday and Saturday so I think that had something to do with it going by even more quickly.  The weekend was busier than normal (which I both love and hate).  Friday I worked until 6 pm then headed to the girls' elementary school for the Spring Fling and didn't get home until after 8 pm.  I woke up bright and early on Saturday and took the girls to my MIL's (mother-in-law's) house.  She had asked if she could take all three kids shopping...yes, she is a brave woman!  After dropping them off (Evan had spent the night at a friend's house and was being dropped off at my MIL's), I headed to work.  I worked until 3, then changed into my running clothes and met Jenny at our local Rails-To-Trails for our 9-Miler.  I must tell you that I was NOT looking forward to running it.  I had so many other things I would rather have been doing!  But it must be done, so I did it.  Midway through the run I started getting indigestion and having a hard time breathing properly due to the lunch I ate that apparently had not digested fully.  So I struggled through the last half.  And Jenny's hip started hurting.  So it was just one of those runs that we would consider as "crappy."  (Yes, I think that is a technical term...)  On a positive note, the weather was perfect.  It was overcast, but in the high to low 50's and it was perfect to run in!

After my run, I went through McD's to buy a chocolate milk (and yes, I hate paying $1 for a TINY little bottle of milk, but I was stupid desperate) for my post-run fuel and then to my MIL's to pick up the kiddos.  I visited for awhile and headed home (after getting milk and filling the tank with gas).  So I didn't get home until after 7 pm.  

Yesterday I woke up and begged persuaded my neighbor to go on a walk with me and we ended up doing 4 miles.  It was nice to get some exercise and catch up on happenings in each other's lives.  I came home and off we went to church.  Our church is doing a series right now called My Story and it's just downright awesome.  Each week features different people in our church who share their story and how God has changed them and worked through them.  I just love it!  

Here are the links if you'd like to watch them for yourself!

After church we did a bit of shopping in town mainly to kill time because we didn't need to be at my FIL's house until 2 for a late lunch.  After that we came home and I totally vegged out.  I wasn't feeling the best and just need to relax after such a crazy weekend!

This morning I'm on a roll!  I got up and started making cookies for Allie's class snack today.  I will share the recipe for my Whole Wheat PB Chocolate Chip Coookies in my next post!  

I also got on the scale.  174.  OUCH.  HOWEVER, I know why.  And I am totally to blame.  It's called PIE.  Yep.  Remember that Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie we brought home from the Amish Bakery?  Well, I've indulged in a piece of it every single night since then.  I didn't want it to go to waste!  Well, I am done with pie....even though there are 2 pieces still left in the fridge.  No more pie for me!  Desperate times call for desperate measures...I am starting to count calories this week.  I hate counting calories, however I bought a cute little notebook at Family Dollar yesterday for a buck and now I'm all motivated to use it as my food journal... 

Isn't it cute?
It's amazing how strong of a motivator polka dots can be!  

I am also using My Fitness Pal to help me calculate what my daily calorie intake should be and how many calories are in the foods I eat.  It's been an eye-opening experience!  I was figuring up how many were in my favorite Chocolate PB Banana Smoothie and it shocked me!  So I made some adjustments (because I hate consumed it yet) to cut the cals down a bit.  Right now my daily intake is set for 1550, although I'm thinking that might be too high.  I figure I'll try it for a week and see how much I lose and then adjust it accordingly.  I've set my goal to lose 1 lb per week.  

Happy Monday!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Post-Indulgent Birthday Workout

Who wants to work out on their birthday?  Don't get me wrong, I actually do like to work out, but it's the last thing I think of doing on my birthday!  But with birthdays come unhealthy eating.  And in my case that means fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, cake, ice cream, chocolates, pizza, and garlic bread!  Oh yeah...and I can't forget my bowl of cereal with milk I had for breakfast!  Ha!  I don't even want to think about how many calories were consumed today...but hey, I only have a birthday once a year, right?

Hubby and I spent the day shopping in Amish Country.  Seriously, that is the last place my husband normally wants to spend the day...mainly because of all of the tourists and horrible traffic.  Today both were minimal so it was actually nice to enjoy our own county without having to share it with tourists and quirks!

We started off by going to a couple of stores that sell outdoor patio tables.  I really want to get one that is made from a poly material that will hold up in the weather and won't need to be replaced for 20 years.  With that, comes a hefty price...OUCH.  All that shopping made us work up an appetite so we headed to a local Amish restaurant for lunch.  I had a hankerin' for fried chicken, so that's what I got...along with the mashed potatoes & gravy.  I opted for green beans instead of noodles as my second side dish. (can you say CARBS?)  However, I was so enraptured with my fried chicken and potatoes and rolls (complete with that yummy gooey Amish peanut butter) that I was stuffed and had completely forgotten about the beans.  So they went uneaten. After that we went next door to the Amish Bakery and bought an apple pie and a raspberry cream pie.  (Btw - it is way cheaper to buy a whole pie than to pay for 2 slices at the restaurant.  It was $2.99 per slice and we got 2 whole pies for $14!)  

After that we did some more shopping, then headed home.  When I got home, my mom and sister were here.  With a cake.  And strawberry swirl ice cream.  So I had some.  It's rude to not eat a bday cake someone has bought for you, right?  It was good but boy was I stuffed!  We visited for awhile and the kiddos started complaining that they were hungry.  It was 7:30 and we hadn't eaten dinner.  And I really didn't want to make dinner.  So we ordered pizza.  Hubby offered to make the drive to pick up the pizza and I decided to hop on the treadmill for a quick workout.  I still needed to do a 3 mile run this week and was totally planning to complete the 3 miles before hubby came home.  But since it's only a 10 minute drive to town, that didn't happen.  I also wanted to incorporate something else with the running for some interval training.  So I decided to to burpees.  I hate burpees.  My plan was to split the run into 1/4 mile increments (at a 5.5-6.0 mph) and then do burpees in between starting with 12 and then counting down to 1 by the end of the 3 miles.  I ended up doing only 1.5 miles and a total of 57 burpees.  I'm totally proud of that 57!!  That's a lot of burpees!!  I'm anxious to see if I'll be sore from them tomorrow!

After my workout, I consumed some pizza and garlic bread.  And now, as the kids are heading to bed, hubby is cracking open the raspberry cream pie.  So I must indulge.  Tomorrow is a new day....my un-birthday...which means I'll be jumping back on to the bandwagon of healthier living...no more special treatment & over-indulging! 

Happy Birthday To Yours Truly

Yep, I'm officially 34 years old now.  Not sure how I feel about it.  I don't feel 34.  Honestly, I feel about 25.  It's like my life has been so full of running a household and raising kids and nurturing my marriage that it's like someone has pushed the fast-forward button on my life and here I am.  Where did the time go?  I'm here in Middle-Age-Dom like I've been teleported here.  One minute I was in my 20's and here I am 34.  

So I have two choices...

1.  To complain that I'm 34 and wish I was 20 again and dwell on all of the should-have, could-haves...OR

2.  I can be truly humbled that God has given me the life He has and be oh-so-thankful that's He has given me another year to enjoy it.  I have a great hubby, 3 great kids,  my health, lots of friends, a nice house, a dependable vehicle, plenty of food in my pantry, and my bills are paid.  
What more could a girl woman want?

FYI...I chose Option #2. 

On a much less serious note, hubby has taken the day off today and told me we can do whatever I want....how cool is that?  Of course, I chose shopping!  You should have seen the look on his face!  PRICELESS.   

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Recipe Adventures #19: Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Sandwiches

I just tried this recipe out this morning and it's really good!  Despite being in a cooking rut in general, I think I am in dire need of new recipes for breakfast.  And this is a great one!  The only downfall being that you use refrigerated crescent roll dough (processed and made with white flour).  BUT I had a couple of cans of them in my fridge that needed used up and this was a great way to do it!  I also had some turkey bacon that I had cooked last week that needed used up.  I love not wasting food!!  (Or should I call it repurposing?)  I recently came across a recipe for making your own crescent rolls but haven't tried them out...maybe that could be a Recipe Adventure in itself!!  

Anyways, I found this recipe on Pinterest while searching for some breakfast ideas.  The original recipe is from All Recipes.com. 

Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sandwiches
1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
8 slices bacon, crisply cooked & crumbled.  (I used turkey bacon that I cut up)
4 eggs, scrambled (I scrambled them as usual with a bit of milk)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten (optional)  OOPS!  Just realized that I didn't use the egg...nor did I even see it on the recipe!
1 Tbsp cracked black pepper...didn't use this either

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Unroll dough on a cookie sheet or baking stone and separate into triangles.

Top each triangle with some eggs, bacon, and cheese.  Roll up loosely.  Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with pepper.  Bake 18 mins until golden brown.  

YUMMY!  But anything made with crescent rolls is yummy.... 

Recipe Adventures #18: Cinnamon Roll Swirl Cake

I tried a new recipe over the weekend.  And tried it out on my small groupies to see how they liked it.  They loved it and the entire pan was gone by the time they all left!  So I guess it was good!  I had a small piece and thought it was VERY sweet.  I'm not sure if my family's tastes are changing a bit since we are trying to limit/eliminate our refined sugar intake because no one else complained of it being too sweet.  So you will just have to make it and decide for yourself!  Next time I make it I will definitely cut back on the use of evaporated cane juice that I put in it in place of sugar.  

I found this recipe on Andrea's Country Cooking Facebook Page.  It doesn't look like she has an actual website to go to, so here is the recipe (with the changes that I made):


3 cup flour ( I used ground hard red winter wheat flour)
1/4 tsp salt (I used sea salt)
1 cup sugar (I used evaporated cane juice)
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup butter, soft to the point of almost melted*
1 cup brown sugar (I used sucanat)
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together except for the butter.
Once mixed; slowly pour in the butter. Stir into batter.
Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.
For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined.
Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife.
Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

2 cup powdered sugar
5 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

While the cake is warm ~ drizzle the glaze over the cake. 

2013 Goal Recap

Since we are 1/4 of the way through 2013 (where does the time go?!), I thought I had better take a gander at my goals for the year to see how I am doing with them!

I will be honest, I haven't read over my goals since I posted them.  I know...shame on me.  But, after reading through them, I have a lot of great goals that I made this year...and new-found motivation to reach them!  I also think I need to print my goals out so I can see them on a daily basis.

I have done horribly, but aren't extremely proud of my accomplishments either.  Next quarter I want to be able to cross something off this list (in addition to the Athletic goal!)

Here are my goals for 2013 (with my progress in red):

I would like to focus on who God says I am.  And believe it.  No more negative self-talk!  
I still struggle with this, but I think there has been some improvement.

When discussing with hubby what weight he thinks I would look awesome at, he said 150.  So that's my goal....reach 150 lbs.  The last time I weighed that I was probably in college, so it would be rockin' awesome to weigh that again.  Once I reach that weight I will see if I need/want to lose more or stay at that weight.  
Ugh...this one I struggle with.  So far my weight has yo-yo'd but pretty much stayed the same.  Since I'm training for a half-marathon, that's awesome considering I normally gain while training.

I'm ready to commit to, and execute, a habit of morning devotion times.  Life is hard when you don't routinely plug in to the One who created you!  I don't like feeling disconnected.
Fail.  I do good for a week and then fall off the bandwagon.  However, I do feel like I pray more throughout the day.  And I started a Beth Moore Bible Study on Esther so I've been getting into the Word more because of that.  

Build up our savings enough so we have 3-6 months of living expenses in there.
I am not sure just how much I have put into savings, but I have been able to put several paychecks of mine directly into our savings account!  

GOAL #1:  Declutter and organize our entire house.  We have way too much stuff...and no place to put it, so it's time to pare down!  The thought of a clutter-free home makes me giddy!
GOAL #2:  Try 52 new recipes in hopes of finding some new favorites!  This amounts to 1 per week, but I'm not going to be that structured with it.
GOAL#1:  I have finished purging the kids' clothes.  I have also sold some furniture pieces that we didn't love or didn't use.  
GOAL #2:  I have done rather well with this, thanks to my cooking rut!  I have posted 15 recipes and have a handful more that haven't gotten posted yet.  This has been a fun one!

GOAL #1:  Start implementing the MoneySmart system and teach my kids about responsibility and money.  
GOAL #2:  Play with my kids more.
GOAL #1:  Haven't started this one yet.  I still want to...but need to set aside the time with hubby to discuss how we will do it and put it into action.  We will also need to plan for it in our budget so we have the money to give them.
GOAL #2:  I think I've done this more.  We've played some games and read some books together.  Still room for improvement.

Run at least 1 half marathon and PR.
Will be running the Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon next month!  My current half PR is 2:20, so any time faster than that is good enough for me!  (Although I would love to cross the finish at 2:15!)

Really focus on showing love and respect to my husband through my words & actions
I think I have done pretty well with this one.  I have tried to be more conscious about doing it in front of the kids to show them how to treat their father and/or their future spouse and to show that he is the head of our house.

Plan a Girl's Night Out at least 4 times this year.
I tried to do this one!  I texted my friends and we had a date planned and then it didn't happen.  I did have a shopping day with Jenny, so maybe that counts?

Monday, April 8, 2013

This Morning's Weigh-In and My Busy Week!

Good morning!  I'm heading to work soon, but I figured you would miss your normal Monday blog post, so I'm going to post a quick one!

First of all, I weighed in this morning and the scale said 172.8.  I'm absolutely thrilled about this since last week's weigh-in didn't go so well.  I guess getting sick has its perks, huh?  Ok, not really.  

This week is a busy week...or at least it feels that way.  Here's the schedule:

Today:  Work until 5.  Come home make dinner and take 2 kids to a 4-H meeting at 6:30.  Then pick them up from said meeting.  I may try to catch a walk (or run) while they are at the meeting.

Tuesday:  Volunteer in my daughter's classroom from 12:30 until 3.  Then pick the girls up from school and head to Mt. Vernon for gymnastics until 6.  

Wednesday:  Dentist appt in the morning.  Teaching a friend to make bread in the afternoon.  And Evan has a hair cut at 5.  

Thursday:  My Birthday!  Hubby has taken the entire day off so we are going to spend it together doing whatever I want...and I think I want to go shopping.  (He's not nearly as excited as I am...hehe)

Friday:  Work until 6. 

Saturday: Work until 3.  Run 9 miles.

Sunday:  Church in am.  Late lunch at my FIL's.  

And on top of all of this, there's the normal cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard work, etc etc.  And I need to run at least a 3-miler & a 5-miler!  Deep Breath......

Friday, April 5, 2013

Morning Sickness

Now before you get all excited thinking that this post it going to be about me announcing my pregnancy, it's not.  And I'm not.  But I did get sick.  In the morning.  1 am to be exact.  I went to bed Wednesday night feeling full.  Of fried mush and upside-down pizza (see last two posts!).  Little did I know I would be sick 4 hrs later.  And boy was I sick.  I spent the entire early morning making trips to the bathroom.  Lying on the bathroom floor.  Hugging the porcelain god.  At about 3 am, hubby started making his way to the bathroom too.  We got the kids off to school (well, they pretty much got themselves off to school) and we were in bed feeling miserable.  When my son left for school I asked him how he was feeling and he said he had indigestion/heartburn but felt fine.  My hubby had also had heartburn, but Evan assured me that he was fine so off to school he went.  And bless his heart, after he woke up his sisters for school we later found out that he had given them both Vitamin C, so he must have been able to see just how sick his parents were!  At about 11 am we received a call from the girls' school saying that Kailyn, our 8 yr old, had gotten sick at school and needed picked up.  Luckily my step-dad works 2nd shift so he was home (because there was no way we were able to drive anywhere) and said he could pick her up.  I went ahead and had him pick up both girls in case Allie came down with it. After I got the call from the elementary school, I decided I had better call the middle school where my son was to see how he was feeling since Kailyn had exhibited no signs of being sick when she left that morning and yet was sick.  He said he felt fine.  I told him this illness comes on very quickly so if he starts feeling sick to immediately get to the bathroom.  He said he would.  At 1 pm I get a call from Evan to come pick him up because he is sick.  So I called my mom and she agreed to pick him up.  When she arrived at our house, Evan jumps out of the car and proceeds to up-chuck in the driveway.  (Sick to well ratio - 4:1)  My mom stayed to make the kids some mac & cheese, do the dishes, and just make sure everyone is ok for awhile, which was awesome because there is nothing worse than being sick and having to take care of sick kids....or well ones for that matter.  I also made her take home every last ounce of fried mush and feel the upside-down pizza to the dogs because I couldn't bear the thought of looking at it!  Luckily the kids didn't have as extreme of symptoms that hubby and I had.  By 5 or 6 pm, EVERYONE in the Snyder Household was fast asleep.  Hubby commented later that he couldn't think of a time in the evening with everyone home where the house was that quiet.  I had to agree.  We woke up around 8pm and watched some TV until 10 pm and shipped everyone off to bed.  We all slept soundly through the night.  The kids are all at school today and hubby and I are vertical once more, although still not 100%.   

One thing is for sure...I WILL NOT be eating any mush at the Amish breakfast tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Recipe Adventures #17: Upside Down Pizza

I was really looking forward to eating this!  I love pizza.  I don't care if it's right-side up or upside-down.  I did some research and sort of came up with my own recipe.  

Upside Down Pizza

Pizza Filling:
1 lb ground beef (probably should have used 2 lbs)
A sprinkle or two of Tastefully Simple's Garlic Garlic (or could use minced garlic cloves)
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
Pepperoni and/or any other pizza toppings you wish

Pizza Sauce:
1 15 oz can tomato sauce (or 2 6oz cans)
1 can tomato paste
1/2 Tbsp garlic salt
1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1/4 c sugar (or to taste)
1 tsp. paprika

Crust: (could be doubled for a thicker crust)
1 c. milk
2 eggs
1 T olive oil
1 T garlic salt
1 c all-purpose flour
Parmesan cheese to taste

Heat over to 350 degrees.  Brown the hamburger and garlic in frying pan.  Drain.  Combine sauce ingredients and add to hamburger mixture.  Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  Spread mozzarella cheese on bottom of pan.  Spread meat mixture over top of cheese.  In large bowl, combine crust ingredients.  Pour crust mixture over top of meat mixture. Bake for 35 mins (or longer if doubling the crust)

The Verdict:  I liked the idea of this recipe but it seemed really salty to me.  (I adjusted the salt measurements above already).  And I should have used more meat and doubled the crust.  Heck while I'm at it, I could double the cheese too.  I really liked the cheese on the bottom.  

And I get much satisfaction from flipping that piece of pizza over onto my plate.  It just seems so gourmet.  

Recipe Adventures #16: Fried Mush

I must start out by saying that I really think we need to change the name of this dish.  The word mush just doesn't sound too appetizing, does it?  Well anyhoo, my creativity is running low and I can't seem to come up with anything better, so I guess we'll keep the name for now.  I was never a big fan of mush until just recently.  There is an Amish parochial school a few miles from my house that hosts a big breakfast twice a year as a fundraiser.  And my oh my it is delish!  The next breakfast is this Saturday and as Jenny and I were running today, we talked about the breakfast.  And the mush.  And I got hungry for it.  ASAP.  And as I was reorganizing my kitchen cabinets this morning I realized that I had a TON of corn meal.  So I came home, hopped on Pinterest and looked up some recipes.  I found one on a blog Here.  It it's super-simple and super-cheap!  I actually tripled the recipe and it made 3 full loaf pans.  I cooked one tonight for dinner (and leftover for breakfast tomorrow) and have 2 in the fridge for small group this weekend (we are all bringing breakfast foods).  I was surprised at how quick and easy this was to make!  

Warning:  Even though this is made with corn meal and water, and would appear to be healthy, I don't think it is.  It's fried in BUTTER.  And drizzled in syrup.  
But that's what makes it sooooo good!

Partially cut loaf.

 Frying them up!

Drizzle with syrup...yum...

Two pans to enjoy later!

Recipe Adventures #15: Spinach & Parmesan Omelet

Well, since I'm feeling super-ultra-fat-and-flabby this week, I decided to start trying to incorporate more veggies & fruits into my meals and concentrate on making everything I eat just a bit more healthy in an attempt to just maybe see the scale move in the right direction.  And stay there.

So I did a quick search for healthy breakfast recipes this morning and found one for a spinach & Parmesan omelet on www.fitness.com but of course tweaked it a bit.  (Hey, it isn't called Recipe Adventures for nothing!)

Spinach & Parmesan Omelet

1 c. spinach, chopped
2 eggs
1 small clove garlic, minced (or less if you don't care for it)
Dash of Tabasco
2 tsp. Parmesan Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Salt & Pepper to taste

Add the spinach to a heated frying pan and saute with the garlic until wilted.  In small bowl, scramble the eggs with Tabasco sauce.  Add to the pan of spinach.  If you don't have a small pan (like me) I just made sure to keep pushing the egg into a smaller omelet-sized circle. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Cook 2 mins then flip and Parmesan cheese.  Cool 15-30 seconds.  Fold over and sprinkle a bit of mozzarella cheese on top.  

The Verdict: I thought it was good, but I need to get over my urge to not like it because there's green stuff in my eggs, ya know?  I like spinach and I like eggs, but I sort of act like a 5 yr old all over again when I see them together.  It's one of my quirks.  And I'm learning to overcome them.  I made one for hubby and he said he liked it so I guess this one is a keeper.  I think next time I would use less garlic (I could really use a breath mint right now) and less Parmesan cheese (totally overlooked the 2 tsp thing and just poured it on top...big mistake).

Once again, I'm sorry I didn't take a picture of it!  It really was beautiful!  I thought about it mid-way through eating it, but hubby was in the kitchen and I didn't want to deal with him asking why on earth I was taking a picture of my breakfast.  (He thinks blogging is silly.) I will try to take pics of future recipes!! 

Recipe Adventures # 14: Frosty Protein Shake

A friend of mine pinned this recipe on Pinterest and I thought it sounded like a great recipe to add to my post-run fuels, so I gave it a try.  I made 2 mistakes when I made this...

1.  I made it when the kids where home.  So when they asked what I was making and I told them something that tasted like a Wendy's Frosty, they were all jacked up asking if they could have one.  For some reason every time they see me getting out the blender they know I'm making a smoothie of some sort and rush to ask if they can have one.

2.  I didn't add enough sweetener.  I was going gung-ho-healthy at that particular moment and didn't want to add any unnecessary calories.  Let me tell you, those calories were indeed necessary! 

Here is the original recipe and what I actually used is in parentheses...

Frosty Protein Shake
3/4 c. almond milk (6 oz of whole milk)
15 ice cubes (maybe used 13 ice cubes)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (same)
1-2 Tbsp. cocoa (2 Tbsp)
Sweetener of choice - 1/4 frozen banana or stevia  (I used 1/4 banana, not frozen)

Give it all a whirl in your blender and enjoy!  Providing you like the taste.

The Verdict:  I didn't like this.  It didn't taste very sweet at all.  To me it tasted like chocolate water.  BLECK.  I actually happily handed my cup over to the kids who were ecstatic about it...until they tasted it.  Then they decided to add extra evaporated cane juice (yes, my kids are smart) to it and said it was awesome.  Not sure I believe them.  Since I had the blender out and my heart set on a chocolatey smoothie, I opted for my Chocolate Banana PB Protein Smoothie instead and thoroughly enjoyed it!  (You can find the recipe HERE.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Today's Workout: 3 Mile Interval Treadmill Workout + Arms

I did it.  I finally got my workout in for today.  I was really dreading my 3 mile run today...mainly because I did NOT want to go outside.  It's a beautiful day, but its looks are very deceiving because it's only in the low 30's.  And I despise running in the cold.  Even though I always warm up once I get started.  Even though I know how great I will feel when I'm done.  I just can't seem to tame my inner-whiner when it comes to the cold.  But the good thing about training for any race is that you can't put off the training runs forever...eventually you just have to break down and do them.  So I did.

After doing a quick search on Pinterest for Interval Treadmill Workouts, I found one posted on www.carrotsandcake.com.  

But once I got started and realized that the woman who runs that blog must be a beast and it far surpassed my running abilities, I tweaked it and came up with this...

Warm Up: 0.0-0.1 @ 5.2 mph
Interval 1:  1.0-1.25 @ 6.5 mph
Rest:  1.25-1.50 @ 3.7 mph
Interval 2:  1.35 - 1.60 @ 6.5 mph
Rest:  1.60 - 1.70 @ 3.7 mph
Interval 3:  1.70-1.95 @ 5.5 mph
Rest:  1.95 - 2.05 @ 3.7 mph
Interval 4:  2.05 - 2.30 @ 6.5 mph
Rest:  2.30 - 2.40 @ 3.7 mph
Interval 5:  2.40 - 2.65 @ 5.5 mph
Rest:  2.65 - 2.75 @ 3.7 mph
Interval 6:  2.75 - 2.90 @ 6.0 mph
Cool Down:  2.90 - 3.0 @ 3.5 mph

I'll be honest, there were a couple of times early on in the workout that I was mentally breaking down.  But the treadmill and I seem to have a love-hate relationship like that.  This one was tough.  And about 2/3 of the way through it my left knee started hurting.  I think I slightly pulled a tendon or ligament or something behind my left knee on Saturday's 8-mile run and it was feeling fine today until I started running again.  So I'm currently icing it while blogging and drinking my post-run chocolate milk.  I'm such a multi-tasker!  

After this grueling workout, my arms were feeling a bit neglected, so I decided to work them too.  Here is what I did:

(All with 10 lb weights, except for the push-ups...although that would be funny to see!)

10 Bicep Curls
8 Front Lateral Raises
8 Bent Over Flys
8 Bent Over Rows each side
8 Hammer Curls
8 Tricep Kick Backs
10 Girly Push Ups

All in all, I'm pleased with my workout today.  Time to hop in the shower cuz I've got a serious workout STANK going on!  

Happy Tuesday! :)

*BTW - the running part of this workout took approx 35 mins and the arms part took approx 10 or so.

Hello Routine!

I have mixed emotions.  Spring Break is over and my kiddos go back to school today.  And although I was totally stressed out and frustrated by all the fighting at the beginning of the the break, they actually started getting along better towards the end and I was really starting to enjoy them being home.  However, I also like the freedom to get some major things accomplished here without the distractions they sometimes provide.   And, I'm not going to lie, the peace and quiet of my house is pretty enjoyable most days too.  But we are all ready for a routine.  My son (who is 12) even told me (4 days into spring break) that he was so ready to go back to school and see different people because he was tired of seeing us all the time.  Thanks buddy...love you too!

So what will I do today?  

* I postponed yesterday's 3-miler until today, so that's a priority.  I would also like to incorporate some extra cardio and/or strength training.  The weight that I lost over the past couple of weeks has returned (thanks to my consumption of Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs and any other chocolate I could get my hands on)...so I'm back to square one.  Bleck.  But as Jimmy Buffet says, It's my own dang fault.  I've read that weight loss is about 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.  So I am going to focus more on what I'm eating but also try to ramp up my workouts a bit.  I want to see the 160's soooooo badly!

* Make a menu for this week & plan my grocery shopping list.  K has gymnastics tonight so I will be doing some shopping during her 2 hour practice.  You spend way less money and time when you have a menu plan and stick to it!

* Get caught up on some bookkeeping for hubby's business.  

* Laundry.  Lots of laundry.  I got a bit done yesterday but it's as if it's multiplying.  Or my kids changed their clothes like 20 times each day.  There's dirty laundry everywhere!  

Well, that should keep me busy most of the day!  I will let you know about today's workout in my next post. Right now, I must be going...time to get the girls up for school...Hello, Routine!